Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
Microsoft Visual Basic has been going strong for 20 years – Microsoft Visual Basic (that
is VB6, VBA, VB.Net) is the most used language in the world today. The sophisticated Rapid
Application Development (RAD) environment of Microsoft Visual Basic is widely used in industry,
and is particularly stable and productive.
The Visual Basic programming language is the natural choice for rapid development of sophisticated
business software. Its extensive range of Windows controls and procedures allow a speedy build
of the graphical user interface (GUI), business logic, and database access.
Microsoft Visual Basic is simple, easy-to-learn, and can be used to build the most complex
Windows applications. Microsoft Visual Basic Programming allows the creation of practical
programs quickly. With the optimising compiler, Microsoft Visual Basic runs as fast as any
language, yet is much easier to use.
By making extensive use of drag-and-drop component assembly, wizards, form-based Graphical
User Interface (GUI) design, the Microsoft Visual Basic Integrated Development Environment
is the fastest way to get custom Windows software into production.
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
An extension of Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications is the common
development language found throughout Microsoft Office software – that is Microsoft
Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Access. VBA can be readily adapted
to automate manual procedures.
By providing a common development language and environment, Microsoft has enabled programmers
to focus on the functionality of the applications – instead of learning a new language
for each application they incorporate into their programs.
Microsoft's support of Visual Basic 6
Official support ended in 2008. VB6 will never get support in 64-bit environments. 32 bit ActiveX
controls will never be upgraded to 64-bit versions. There will no longer be any VB6 Service
Packs or fixes. The latest Windows security updates are aimed directly at Visual Studio.Net,
and can invalidate some VB6 routines.
Microsoft is committed to supporting the VB6 runtime on Windows 7 and Windows 8 until 2017
– and extended support until 2022. But it is impossible to ignore the advent of VB.Net.
Like VB3, the VB6 routines will become harder and harder for programmers to support. That
is, if one can find a VB6 programmer.
Planning for the adoption of VB.Net should start now. See also the article VB6: Intellectual Property and Code Ownership
Microsoft Visual Basic .Net
Visual Basic .NET (VB.Net)
was introduced in 2002 and is now completely stable. Although the syntax is simple to understand,
the language is not "Basic" at all. VB.Net is an object-oriented computer programming language
that has evolved from the classic Visual Basic (VB6).
Visual Basic .NET has most of the features of VB6, but has advanced in scope and complexity.
Performance and maintainability are superb. It has added many new features – structured
exception handling, 32 bit Integers, LINQ, type inference and a far larger class library.
Garbage collection can occur at any time – avoiding memory fragmentation problems.